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What Causes Blackheads & Whiteheads?

What Causes Blackheads & Whiteheads? What Causes Blackheads & Whiteheads?

The basic causes of acne, whether blackheads or whiteheads, is the same. The primary reason people experience acneic skin is the occlusion of the pores by dead skin cells, which trap oil and toxins inside the pore. When oil and bacteria are trapped inside the pore, it can become inflamed and cause blackheads and whiteheads. Other reasons skin may be acting up are irritating skin care products, an unbalanced diet and improper cleansing of the skin.

Skin Care Products

There are many chemicals, preservatives, fragrances and emulsifiers in today's popular skin care brands. Many of these ingredients can be irritating to the skin and cause acne breakouts, especially if you have sensitive skin . You should avoid skin care products containing mineral oil or dimethicone. These substances act as occlusive agents on the skin, which prevent oxygen from penetrating the pores and trap bacteria and oil inside the pore, thus resulting in blackheads and whiteheads.


Diet plays a huge role in the skin's appearance. An unbalanced diet can contribute to skin blemishes, skin dullness, wrinkling, dryness and a decrease in elasticity. Blackheads and whiteheads may not be directly caused by a type of diet, but certain chemicals and hormones in the foods we eat could be contributing factors. According to an article on, hard-to-digest foods can affect acne because they slow down the digestive system. Whenever the digestive system slows down, accumulated foods and toxins become fermented in the digestive system and can give rise to many skin conditions, including blackheads and whiteheads.

Improper Cleansing

People who suffer with blackheads and whiteheads often use products formulated for oily/acneic skin types. Acne can form on people with any skin type, however, and acne products may not always be best for every acne sufferer. Once a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist identifies your skin type, you can make a better decision about skin care products.

Cleanse acneic skin twice a day, with bare hands. Washcloths can be irritating to the skin, causing bacteria from a blemish to spread and cause a new blemish. You should avoid harsh scrubs and exfoliants, as they can worsen the condition. Light exfoliants can be beneficial, if applied correctly. According to an article on, over-exfoliating the skin can cause the pores to close and lead to more breakouts.

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